Comcast tops revenue estimates on streaming growth, strong park attendance

By Thomson Reuters Apr 25, 2024 | 6:04 AM

(Reuters) – Comcast beat quarterly revenue estimates on Thursday driven by higher-than-expected subscriber growth at its Peacock streaming service and strong attendance at its theme parks.

Peacock added 3 million subscribers in the first quarter, taking its total to 34 million and outpacing estimates of 2.32 million by Visible Alpha, thanks to higher investments that Comcast hopes will help it compete better with Netflix and Disney+.

Peacock became the first streaming service to exclusively air an NFL playoff game in January, which was one of its biggest growth drivers in the quarter. It also benefited from the release of 2023 hit “Oppenheimer” on Peacock in February, which became one of the most watched movies in its history.

Revenue at the streaming service rose about 54% from a year earlier, helping Comcast report a total revenue of $30.06 billion. That was higher than the $29.81 billion expected by analysts, according to LSEG data.

Broadband market continues to be a challenge for Comcast, with stiff competition from telecom operators such as T-Mobile and Verizon that are gaining market share.

In March, Comcast said it faced competitive pressure from the low end of the market, where customers are eager to trade in speed for a lower priced package.

Analysts expect broadband losses to increase in the coming quarter, hit by the loss of an internet subsidy program – Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) – which will run out of funding this month.

Comcast lost 65,000 broadband customers in the January-March quarter, against estimates for a loss of 49,000 customers, according to FactSet.

Its theme parks business continued to reap the gains from launches, including Super Nintendo World in Japan.

The company is placing its bets on Epic Universe, the latest theme park at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, which it expects to open by summer 2025, to continue driving growth in this segment.

(Reporting by Harshita Mary Varghese; Editing by Milla Nissi)